Fans weren’t the only ones surprised by Evan Engram’s Pro Bowl selection.
The Giants tight end wasn’t fully expecting the honor when former Giants tight end Howard Cross informed him of his inclusion on the NFC roster Monday during an impromptu Zoom call.
“I didn’t know 100 percent. I maybe had a small idea because I may have been tipped off, but I didn’t pay it any mind,” Engram said on the latest episode of The Post’s “Blue Rush” podcast.
“I was leaving the facility and DJ [Daniel Jones] said something and I really didn’t pay it any mind. He was like, ‘Bro, congrats on the Pro Bowl.’ I thought he was joking, so I just didn’t pay it any mind. And then I’m driving home and I get a call from our PR people and they’re setting up this Zoom with Howard Cross at 1:30 and it’s the most random time and the most random thing they ever really wanted me to do. So I’m like, ‘There’s no way.’”
The Giants told Engram that Cross was having a Zoom with some former players to talk about football and the season. But when Engram joined the call, Cross quickly broke the news to him that he had made his first career Pro Bowl.
“I was really shocked,” Engram said. “I was very surprised.”
In his fourth season with the Giants, Engram has recorded 54 catches for 572 yards and two total touchdowns. He does have six drops, but has played every game after injuries derailed past seasons. The 26-year-old was joined on the NFC roster by fellow tight end T.J. Hockenson of the Lions.
While Engram didn’t get a big push from the fan vote — one-third of the total vote — he said he was proud to get the support of players and coaches.
“The peers and the players, those are really the votes that matter the most,” Engram said. “I know from across the league, I’ve loved getting respect from other coaches and other players when I go out there and compete. That definitely means a lot to me and makes me feel very deserving.”
Engram, who made the team along with Giants cornerback James Bradberry, said the Pro Bowl nod gave him “a big boost of confidence” and a new standard that he hopes to maintain.
“A lot comes with it, being a Pro Bowler,” Engram said. “I do have to continue to play at a high level. I want to do that anyway. I think this can definitely boost me and continue to show me that hard work does pay off and it shows me more work I can continue to put in.”
The Pro Bowl won’t be played this year because of COVID-19, but it may be replaced by a Madden video game tournament that Engram said he’ll be ready for, in addition to his own personal version of the game.
“One of my neighbors back home, Jackson, he just started playing Pop Warner football and he’s got his pads ready,” Engram said, “so when I go home, I might get in the yard and run around with him and pretend that’s my Pro Bowl.”